Aletris

Aletris

Aletris

Aletris, N.F. is a fluid extract of the rhizome of Aletris farinosa, a plant of the lily family (Liliaceae). This plant is known by many common names including unicorn root, stargrass, or devil’s-bit.  A. farinosa grows in the eastern United States, and had been used by Native Americans to treat diarrhea and rheumatism.  More recently, this plant has been used as a laxative, a sedative, a treatment for menstrual disorders, and a general tonic.  The chemical constituents of Aletris root are not well studied, and although there are claims that these compounds possess estrogenic properties, this has not been clinically established.

This product was sold by the Parke-Davis Company.  This company was founded by Hervey Parke in 1866 in Detroit, Michigan. The company pioneered and built the first modern pharmaceutical laboratory.  Although it became a subsidiary of Pfizer in 2000, it was once America’s largest pharmaceutical company.

Bibliography:

Aletris (2011)  I A. DerMarderosian & J. A. Beutler (Eds.), The review of natural products.  Retrieved fromhttp://www.drugfacts.com. Accessed Nov. 12, 2011.

Leung AY, Foster S. Encyclopedia of Common Natural Ingredients Used in Food, Drugs, and Cosmetics. New York, NY: J. Wiley and Sons; 1980.

2000: Pfizer joins forces with Warner-Lambert, Web site: http://www.pfizer.com/about/history/pfizer_warner_lambert.jsp Accessed 11/12/2011
True Unicorn Root Herb – Uses And Side Effects, Web site: http://www.vitamins-minerals-supplements.org/herbs/true-unicorn-root.htm Accessed 11/12/2011

Wright, J. E.  US Patent 1885 (CA 314212 ).

Barr, J. R.  US Patent 1885 (CA 329697).

Credits:

Dan Chen
November, 2011

BonKora

BonKora

BonKora

The laxative and carminative indications on label of Bon Kora, along with the representation of a svelte naked female physique, left little doubt about this product’s use as a means for chemically-induced bulimia.  Ingredients in Bon Kora include Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate), a saline laxative and Cascara sagrada, a strong cathartic.  Anise and caraway, used as digestive aids, and fennel, which helped reduce intestinal spasms, were also included. The label warns that Bon Kora could cause dependence if used frequently.

This medication was sold by the Consolidated Royal Chemical Corporation.  In the late 1930s, this corporation sponsored a number of radio shows,  including one by the Carter family, which was broadcast on the radio station XERA, just across the Mexican border of Del Rio, Texas.  These shows included advertisements for the company’s remedies.

Bibliography:

“Federal Trade Commission Weight Loss Products and Services.” Natural Fitness  Group. 2008. Creative Thirst. 12 Nov. 2008. <http://naturalfitnessgroup.com/FTC1927-1997pt2.html (accessed Nov. 12, 2008).

“Herbal Remedies – Fennel.” Herbal Remedies Info. 2008. Herbal Remedies Info. http://www.herbalremediesinfo.com/Fennel.html. (accessed Nov. 12, 2008)

Middleton, Jim. Personal communication. Nov. 12, 2008.

“Royal Chemical.” Royal Chemical. 2002. http://www.royalchemical.com/ (accessed Nov. 12, 2008)

“Spices and Herbs: Anise Seed.” Culinary Cafe. http://www.culinarycafe.com/Spices_Herbs/Anise_Seed.html (accessed Nov. 12, 2008)

“Spices and Herbs: Caraway Seed.” Culinary Cafe. http://www.culinarycafe.com/Spices_Herbs/Caraway_Seed.html (accessed Nov. 12, 2008)

“What Are Epsom Salts?” wiseGEEK. 2008. Conjecture Corp.
http://www.wisegeek.com/what-are-epsom-salts.html (accessed Nov. 12, 2008)

Credits:

Laura Elliott
November 2008

Borolyptol

Borolyptol

Borolyptol

Borolyptol was a product marketed as an antiseptic for both internal and external use.  It contained “aceto-boroglyceride” which presumably was a proprietary composition containing boric acid and glycerine.  It also contained formaldehyde and alcohol along with a collection of “active balsamic constituents,”  the later being derived from eucalyptus, myrrh, and Pinus pumilio, or dwarf mountain pine trees. Used internally, Borolyptol was claimed to correct the “yeasty” disorders of the stomach leading to belching and flatulence.  However, it was used primarily as a gargle and mouthwash.

Borolyptol was manufactured by the Palisade Manufactur-ing Company of Yonkers, New York beginning in the late 1800’s.  Eventually it’s use was eclipsed by another antiseptic  that was also first produced around the same time: Listerine.

Bibliography:

Advertisement [Special Section]. (1897, August). The Public Health Journal, 11(7), 16. Retrieved from http://books.google.com/books?id=bvPlAAAAMAAJ (accessed 2/15/14)

Notes on the composition, therapeutic indications & practical advantages of the pharmaceutical preparations manufactured by the Arlington chemical company, the N.Y. pharmacal association, the Palisade Manf’g. company of Yonkers, N.Y (1909) [Brochure].  Retrieved from http://books.google.com/books?id=sKHHRPMQqZEC (accessed 2/15/14).

Talbot, E. S. (1898). Oral hygiene. Dental Items of Interest: A Monthly Journal of Dental Science, 20, 188-192. Retrieved from http://books.google.com/books?id=cLkhAQAAMAAJ (accessed 2/15/14).

Credits:

Courtney Duncan
November 2010

Percy Medicine

Percy Medicine

Percy Medicine

A. W. Percy, a buggy whip salesman, was traveling with his family from New York to their new home in Waco, Texas in 1898 when his young son Albert became sick with an upset stomach.   The family stopped in Kentucky and found a local physician, Dr. McDonald who prescribed a bismuth subsalicylate-based remedy. Albert recovered but became sick again upon arrival in Waco.  A. W. Percy, who had received a copy of the prescription, asked the local pharmacist, W. S. Merrick, to compound the medicine for his son.Thus began their partnership and the launch of Baby Percy Medicine.
In 1904, the Merrick Medicine Company was founded by Merrick and Percy. In 1938, Baby was dropped from the name of the sole product sold by the company. Percy Medicine still retains its original formula of bismuth subsalicylate, calcium hydroxide, potassium carbonate, rhubarb extract, sugar, cinnamon, and orange flavoring.  Until 2010, Percy Medicine was still produced at the original factory at 8th and Webster Streets in Waco, but since that time manufacturing has been outsourced to a company in Texarkana. Because Percy Medicine contains 5% alcohol, the Merrick company holds the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission’s oldest continuously active industrial alcohol permit, first issued in 1939.

Bibliography:

Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission. (2000, December). Good things come in small batches at Waco company. TABC Today, 4(3), 1, 3. Retrieved from  http://www.tabc.state.tx.us/publications/tabc_today/Today0012.pdf

McDowall, K. (2011, December 17). Passed down: Percy medicine’s secret ingredient. Texas Business. Retrieved from http://www.texasbusiness.com/passed-down-percy-medicine-s-secret-ingredient–cms-6543

Lewis, T. V., Bardillo, R., Schaeffer, S., Hagemann, T. M., & McGoodwin, L.  (2006, March). Salicylate toxicity associated with administration of Percy medicine in an infant. Pharmacotherapy, 26(3), 403. Abstract retrieved from  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16503721

Credits:

JoAnn Yi